Arthur “Art” Burke was on “Ice Road Truckers” for the final five seasons of the series. Throughout that time, he managed to develop a reputation of a coarse, yet likable character with a thirst for adventure. During his time on “IRT”, he never failed to make audiences laugh with his frequent use of foul language and a carefree, humorous demeanor. Just one year after the show has run its course, Burke returned to the spotlight, albeit not in a way he would have wanted.
In November 2018, Burke caused a massive explosion in his Prince Edward Island home, according to CBC News. He was trying to make a specific form of cannabis concentrate, known as shatter. A large amount of butane, a highly flammable liquid, was required for the process. Art’s poor handling of this substance ended up in the trucker accidentally igniting the butane, prompting the massive explosion. As a result, 40 percent of his body got covered in burns. The damage he caused to the building he lived in amounted to $60,000, which led Burke himself to say, “In one heartbeat everything I worked for vanished…I am going to lose all my savings for retirement.”
In 2020, the History Channel star pleaded guilty to the charges of “causing arson by negligence,” per CBC News, and was sentenced to 18 months of house arrest. Reportedly, Burke’s attorney managed to get the judge to allow his client to serve out some of his sentence in his truck, thus allowing him to continue working. Perhaps Burke could get another shot at success if the rumored “Ice Road Truckers” return ever actually happens — and he’s allowed to participate.